FAQs

QUESTIONS

HEAT PUMP SECTION

        What is a heat pump?
        How does a heat pump work?
        How can a heat pump obtain heat from cold winter air?
        What does a heat pump look like?
        Where is the furnace?
        Do heat pumps have efficiency ratings?
        Why is a heat pump so economical?
        Can heat pumps be installed in existing homes?
 
DUCTLESS SYSTEMS SECTION
 
        What are Split Ductless HVAC Systems? 

HYBRID HEATING (DUAL FUEL HEATING) SECTION
 
        What is Hybrid heating?
        How Does Hybrid Heating Work?
        How Much Does It Cost and How Much Can I Save?
        Will Comfort Improve?
        A Few Facts

GAS FURNACE SECTION (LP or NATURAL)


HUMIDIFICATION SECTION

        What is a humidifier?
        Should my humidifier operate during the summer months?
        How much water should my whole house humidifier use?
        How easy is it to install a whole house Humidifier?

WHOLE-HOUSE AIR FILTRATION SYSTEM SECTION
 
        What can we do to help make my home's air cleaner?


ANSWERS

HEAT PUMP SECTION

 
What is a heat pump?
A heat pump is essentially a central air conditioning system that also has the ability to heat your home during cold weather months.It's called a "heat pump" because it pumps heat into your home in winter, and pumps heat out of your home in summer. Its ability to both heat and cool makes it a very economical and efficient home comfort system.

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How does a heat pump work?
In summer, it functions exactly like a standard central air conditioning system, pulling the heat out of your home and releasing it outside. In winter, it simply reverses the process, extracting the heat that's present in outdoor air and pumping it into your home.

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How can a heat pump obtain heat from cold winter air?
As strange as it may seem, heat is present in all air, even air that's well below freezing. Think of the way your refrigerator removes unwanted heat that accumulates when you open the door and place warm food inside. You can feel that heat coming back into your kitchen from the refrigerator's exhaust fan.In a similar way, heat pumps remove heat from cold outdoor air and deliver it to your home to keep you warm and comfortable.

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What does a heat pump look like?
A typical heat pump installation consists of two parts: an outdoor unit that contains the outdoor coil, compressor, reversing valve, and fan; and an indoor unit that contains the indoor coil, supplemental heater and fan.The outdoor unit looks exactly like a central air conditioner in both size and appearance. The indoor unit is called an air handler and looks similar to a gas furnace.

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Where is the furnace?
There isn't any. The heat pumps takes its place. Because a heat pump simply moves heat from one place to another, there is no burning of fuel to make heat, no smoke and no fumes.

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Do heat pumps have efficiency ratings?
Yes. In fact, they have two, one for heating and one for cooling. The heating rating is called the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF), the cooling rating is called the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). In both cases, the higher the number, the greater the efficiency and the lower the operating costs.
When comparing ratings, remember that they are based on the total system, meaning the combination of the outdoor unit and the indoor unit.

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Why is a heat pump so economical?
Because during the heating season, a heat pump simply has to move heat instead of making it. Unlike a furnace that must turn fossil fuel or electricity into heat, the heat pump simply collects heat that already exists in the outdoor air and pumps it into your home.Why do heat pumps have supplemental heaters?Heat naturally migrates from warmer to colder areas through windows, doors, ceilings and walls. Insulation, weather-stripping and caulk slow down this heat loss, but cannot totally eliminate it. The colder it becomes, the faster a home loses heat.
The supplemental heater helps the heat pump during weather extremes when a home may lose heat faster than the heat pump can replace it. Electric heating elements in the indoor unit turn on automatically to make up the difference.

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Can heat pumps be installed in existing homes?
Yes, especially if you already have a forced-air heating system, suitable ductwork and adequate insulation. Heat pumps can work with any forced air heating system ... gas, oil, propane or electric.

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DUCTLESS SYSTEMS SECTION
 
What are Split Ductless HVAC Systems?  
As the name indicates these systems are split systems and can, depending on configuration provide heating and/or air conditioning. The major difference is that now duct work is needed. Each room unit has its own heat exchanger and air handler.
Split ductless HVAC is an ideal solution for residential and commercial application where standard forced air systems with duct work cannot be applied.
Typical Components of Ductless HVAC:
Indoor/Room Unit, wall or ceiling mounted
with heat exchanger and air handler
Outside unit with AC and/or heat pump
Outdoor Units for one or multiple Indoor Units
Control unit, wired or remote wireless

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HYBRID HEATING (DUAL FUEL HEATING) SECTION
 
What is Hybrid heating?
Hybrid heating, or dual fuel heating, involves the combination of a fossil fuel combustion heating system, such as a gas, oil, or propane furnace with an electric heat pump.
Because the technology for each fuel operates most efficiently during specific weather conditions, a hybrid heating system maximizes efficiency, cuts heating bills, and minimizes environmental impact.
More important to many, hybrid heating systems are more comfortable.

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How Does Hybrid Heating Work?
In a hybrid heating system, a furnace is used with an electric heat pump for heating.  Heat pumps will heat and cool your home very efficiently.  In fact, heat pumps are usually the most economic form of heating during cool to chilly weather.
Even when it feels cold outside, there is heat in the air, which the heat pump extracts and literally pumps it inside of your home.  When the temperature outside drops below an economic balance point where it becomes more efficient to heat with gas, oil, or propane, the system switches to your furnace.  Without a fossil fuel heat source, the heating system would use expensive electric resistance heat when the outside temperature dropped below the heat pump’s physical balance point.

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How Much Does It Cost and How Much Can I Save?
A hybrid heating system’s equipment and installation costs are slightly higher.  After all, two heating systems using two different fuel sources are required.  The cost will vary based on the size and heating load of your home, but is usually modest and will be repaid through utility savings.  Depending on current utility rates, hybrid heating systems typically cut utility expenses by 10%, compared to conventional systems.  Of course, even greater savings are possible with the selection of higher efficiency heating and cooling equipment.

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Will Comfort Improve?
Yes!  Hybrid heating systems offer the best of all worlds.  During mild to chilly weather, homes are warmed with the steady, mellow heat of a heat pump, rather than intermittent blasts of high temperature air.  When it’s freezing outside and a heat pump’s lower temperature feels drafty to some people, the system switches to the fossil fuel furnace with its toasty air.  Each heating system is used when it’s most comfortable and most economic.

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A Few Facts
The temperature of the air supplied by furnaces to the living space is typically 135°F. Most homeowners find the warmer air preferable when outside temperatures are freezing.
The temperature of the air supplied by a heat pump is typically 105°F.  Most homeowners find the mellow temperature from a heat pump is preferable when outside temperatures are chilly, but not freezing.
The physical “balance point” of a heat pump is the temperature where a heat pump can no longer maintain the thermostat’s temperature setting.  Usually, this is 25°F to 30°F.  The economic balance point, when a furnace becomes more economic to operate than a heat pump is typically 30°F to 40°F.

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GAS FURNACE SECTION (LP or NATURAL)

I'm afraid my old furnace will quit in the middle of winter, is it worth replacing before it breaks down?
Being left out in the cold in the middle of winter when your old furnace quits is definitely something you want to avoid. If your contractor is suggesting that your furnace needs replacing it is wise not to delay. If it's the cost of replacing your old furnace that’s making you hang on, consider that some older models of furnace deliver only 55% of their heat to your home while a new high-efficiency natural gas furnace may deliver up to 97% of the heat it creates to your home. Your old furnace is probably costing you money. Your new natural gas furnace will likely save you money.  We have financing available.

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I have a limited budget but I am very impressed by the energy savings a high-efficiency model could give me. What should I do?
A high efficiency furnace will have a lower operating cost than a mid-efficiency furnace but will have a higher purchase price.  

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Is there a "best time" of the year to purchase and install a new furnace?
The best time of year to purchase and install a gas furnace is in the spring or fall. At these times of the year, contractors are less occupied with emergency service work.  But we have installation crews working everyday, so when you are ready, CALL US!

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I heat with electric baseboards and am paying far too much for heat. I feel it will be too expensive to switch to gas and install all that duct work. Any suggestions?
The cost of the ductwork in addition to the new furnace needs to be calculated over the long term compared to the cost of staying with electric for home heating.   

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I’ve started hearing that we should use gas wherever possible instead of electricity. Why is this important?
You may have heard that there are continual warnings that our electrical grid is being stressed. Reducing the load on the electrical grid by using fewer electrical products is the best and easiest way to ease the strain. Choosing gas to heat your home instead of electric is a simple and effective way to use less electricity. Considering heating represents 40-60% of your energy bill, switching from electric heating to natural gas heating will help to reduce the load on the electric grid. You will see an immediate reduction in your energy bill.

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Will my new high-efficiency furnace affect my water heater choice?
It may. If you choose a high-efficiency furnace you will need to consider the venting requirements of your choice. Ask your contractor for more information.   

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I want the quietest furnace possible, I sleep very lightly and am easily woken when the furnace comes on.
Choose a two-stage high-efficiency furnace for the least amount of fan noise.  This type of furnace has a fan that operates on a low setting most of the time. It only increases the speed to a higher level when a higher heat demand is necessary. The result is quiet operation and a better night’s sleep for you.    

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What is that smell every year when I start up my furnace?
Typically over the summer when the furnace is not in use the heat exchanger inside the furnace gets coated with a layer of dust and when you start up your furnace in the fall the heat exchanger burns this dust off which is what you are smelling. This is normal for most heating equipment that has not run for several months and does not harm the equipment. As for indoor air quality concerns I would have to say that it may be a good idea to open some windows to be on the safe side.

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Should I replace my indoor AC coil at the same time as my furnace?
It makes sense to upgrade and replace the indoor coil when you replace a furnace even if you are not replacing the air conditioning unit. This is because the furnace itself in many cases must be removed to replace this coil or other extensive work may be necessary to make the new larger coil fit, if you were to consider the cost to upgrade the coil at a later date versus doing it now you will basically be paying two to three times as much for that same coil when the added labor is figured into the cost. All newer air conditioning units require an upgraded coil to match the efficiency ratings in SEER so it just makes sense to change that coil while it is easier and cheaper.   

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Why is the LED light flashing on my furnace?
If your furnace status LED is blinking a steady single blink this usually means the system is either in stand by mode or is receiving a call for heating or cooling. If the LED light is blinking rapidly more than once and then pauses and does more this usually indicates the furnacee has an issue and some sort of failure or a safety device has tripped. The codes can be difficult to read unless you read them all the time but they normally refer to two specific numbers that correspond to a troubleshooting chart in the manufacturer manual or sometimes right on a sticker on the furnace door. Each code usually tells the technician what to look for on the system and in most cases there can be more than one thing to check. 

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How do I light the pilot on my furnace?
Most modern furnaces today no longer have a standing pilot light like the ones seen on gas water heaters.. Most furnaces today will either have an electronic spark ignition or a hot surface igniter system. But if your furnace does have a standing pilot light the best advice is to follow the instructions on the stickers and labels on the furnace itself. If your pilot will not stay lit then you need to clean or replace your flame sensor.  

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How do I know if my furnace is leaking carbon monoxide?
If you are even remotely concerned about carbon monoxide in your home then the smartest thing you can do is to go and buy a carbon monoxide detector from a big box store and plug it in any electrical outlet, one on each level of your home. These devices cost a little more than a cheap smoke detector and are well worth the expense for any home because just like smoke detectors, they save lives. most
reputable HVAC contractors have carbon monoxide meters and almost all gas companies have them as well, they can come to your home and measure the carbon monoxide levels in your home. Having said that you should also have your furnace inspected by a qualified HVAC contractor if you even suspect your furnace is leaking and all manufacturers recommend that the furnace be inspected and serviced annually.

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HUMIDIFICATION SECTION

What is a humidifier?
Humidifiers help by ensuring that your entire home has just the right amount of moisture for the ultimate in protection and comfort. Whole-house humidifiers help prevent premature aging of your home's structure, provides optimum comfort and can protect respiratory systems against viruses and bacteria.

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Should my humidifier operate during the summer months?
Generally, it is not necessary to humidify during the summer months as the air is naturally more humid in most parts of the country.

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How much water should my whole house humidifier use?
The amount of water that a humidifier uses depends on the type of humidifier. A flow through humidifier, steam humidifier, and disk humidifier are types of humidfiers some customers use. We would love to come to talk to you about which would better suit your needs!

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How easy is it to install a whole house Humidifier?
To install a humidifier is easy! Call us about installing your humidifier for you.  

Comfort

When the air in your home becomes too dry, your body is robbed of moisture, leaving you and your family with dry, itchy skin, and dry nose and throat symptoms.

Protection

Dry air pulls moisture from walls and hardwood floors which leads to damaging, unsightly cracks. Valuable furniture, artwork and electronics are also subject to the adverse effects of dry air.

Energy Savings

Most homeowners turn up the thermostat because they feel cold.  Humidification allows you to feel warmer at lower thermostat settings, saving up to 4% on your heating bill for every degree you lower your thermostat, according to the EPA.

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WHOLE-HOUSE AIR FILTRATION SYSTEM SECTION
 
What can we do to help make my home's air cleaner?
The best thing you can do is to remove as many of the particles from your home's air as you can. It works as part of your total home comfort system to remove up to an industry-leading 99.98% of the airborne allergens from your home's filtered air.

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